City Collaborates With Mental Health Crisis Experts For 911 Dispatch Team

Wednesday, September 23rd 2020, 4:21 pm

By: Kristin Wells

TULSA, Okla. –

The City of Tulsa will now include mental health experts in the dispatch team to aid with non-emergency calls.

The City of Tulsa 911 Mental Health Collaborative is a new initiative launched September 3. The team will have mental health crisis experts on the dispatch team to handle mental health-related calls and connect to the right resources quicker.

“Having immediate access to mental health professionals gives 911 dispatchers and first responders the ability to provide additional resources and aid to help the community,” said Belinda McGhie, City of Tulsa 911 Public Safety Communications systems manager.

The initiative partners the City of Tulsa Public Safety Communications (PSC), Tulsa Police, Family & Children’s Services Community Outreach Psychiatric Services (COPES) and the Tulsa Area United Way.

COPES is the local provider for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and they work to help people in Tulsa experiencing a mental health crisis.

 “Most people don’t know where to go for help and they call 911,” Amanda Bradley, Senior Program Director for COPES said. “Through this collaborative, we will be able to address the immediate mental health crisis and connect callers to ongoing mental health services.

This Collaborative is modeled after the Harris County 911 Center in Houston, Texas. Officials said since 2015, the model has lowered costs and improved the response to non-emergency mental health-related calls for Houston’s first responders.

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